Frazer Memorial Fountain | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Frazer Memorial Fountain

Item details

Name of item: Frazer Memorial Fountain
Other name/s: Frazer Memorial Fountain
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Monuments and Memorials
Category: Memorials
Primary address: Prince Albert Road, Corner St Mary's Road, Sydney, NSW 2000
Local govt. area: Sydney
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Prince Albert Road, Corner St Mary's RoadSydneySydney  Primary Address
Art Gallery RoadSydneySydney  Alternate Address
St Marys RoadSydneySydney  Alternate Address

Statement of significance:

Historically significant as a manifestation of nineteenth century philanthropy, this edifice is one of the few intact remaining drinking fountains in Sydney. Demonstrates earlier aspects of daily life in relation to water supply and usage as well as public health and hygiene.Long association with parks gardens and pleasure grounds. Aesthetically significant as a good example of baroque-inspired Victorian Gothic sandstone fountain. Socially significant as a source of drinking water as well as a meeting place prior to the universal provision of reticulated water.
Date significance updated: 03 Feb 06
Note: There are incomplete details for a number of items listed in NSW. The Heritage Division intends to develop or upgrade statements of significance and other information for these items as resources become available.

Description

Designer/Maker: 1. SAPSFORD Thomas (architect), 2. BEVERIDGE Lawrence (sculptor/craftsperson)
Physical description: Fountain is located in Prince Albert Road, opposite the northern end of St Marys Cathedral. Elaborate baroque-inspired sandstone drinking fountain. A good example of an ornate sandstone covered drinking fountain, it features Pyrmont sandstone and specially imported Aberdeen granite in the water basins. The fountain is set on a square base from the corners of which arise four pilaster/column groups which support the wide arches. There is a crenellated spire surmounted by a lantern and steps at the base of the fountain which give access on each side to the area where the water basin formerly stood. ArtistDesigner:1) SAPSFORD Thomas (design). 2) BEVERIDGE Lawrence (sculptor/craftsperson) BirthDeath:1) ?_1886 2) ?_1884. sex:male/male Nationality:FRR Biography:Thomas Sapsford: City Architect Council of the City of Sydney 1881_1885 and 1886 (suspended over controversy concerning the design and construction of part of the Sydney Town hall; reinstated 1996); responsible for the design of Centennial Hall Sydney Town Hall. FRR. Lawrence Beveridge: lived for some time in Mittagong FRR. OtherWorks:Sapsford: Design Centennial Hall Sydney Town Hall. Beveridge: FRR. Foundry:NFR FabricationDate:c.1883_84 InstallDate:1884 RelocationDate:N/A Inscriptions:On Southern side: 'Presented/ by' On Eastern Side: 'John Frazer /M.L.C.' On Northern Side: 'To His/ Fellow Citizens' On Western Side: '1884/ John Hardie/Mayor' On rim of granite basin below each of the individual basins: On northern and southern sides: 'Aquarius' On Eastern and western sides: 'Arethusa' At base of fountain north-west corner: 'Thos. Sapsford/ City Architect' At base of fountain south-western corner: 'L. Beveridge/ Sculptor' Acquisition:Donated to the City by John Frazer in 1884. CurrentOwner:Sydney City Council. Category:Statue, Monument or Fountain. General Details:Refer to Archaeological Zoning Plan.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
The fountain was fully restored (excluding water feature) in 2003 by the Traditional Stonemasonry Company Pty Ltd for the Sydney City Council.
Date condition updated:03 Feb 06
Further information: ArtistDesigner:1. SAPSFORD Thomas (architect), 2. BEVERIDGE Lawrence (sculptor/craftsperson) BirthDeath:1. -1886; 2. -1883 (?) sex:Male Nationality:Unknown Biography:Thomas Sapsford was City Architect, Council of the City of Sydney 1881-1885 and 1886 (suspended over controversy concerning the design and construction of part of the Sydney Town Hall; reinstated 1996). Responsible for the design of Centennial Hall, Sydeny Town Hall.
Lawrence Beveridge lived for some time in Mittagong. OtherWorks:Sapsford designed Centennial Hall, Sydney Town Hall.

Beveridge: Unknown: further research required. Foundry:Unknown: further research required. FabricationDate:c.1880 InstallDate:1881 RelocationDate:1917; 1934 Inscriptions:The inscriptions are set high up, using raised lettering on a slab below the crenellations.
On the northern side: "PRESENTED BY"
On the western side: "JOHN FRAZER M.L.C"
On the southern side: "TO HIS FELLOW CITIZENS"
On the eastern side: "JOHN HARRIS MAYOR 1881-2"
On the base of the fountain, north-western corner: "Thos. M. Sapsford/ City Architect"
On the base of the fountain, south western corner: "L. Beveridge/ Sculptor"

Acquisition:Donated to the citizens of Sydney by John Frazer, M.L.C. CurrentOwner:Sydney City Council ResearchAssistant:Mary Sparke

Heritage Inventory sheets are often not comprehensive, and should be regarded as a general guide only. Inventory sheets are based on information available, and often do not include the social history of sites and buildings. Inventory sheets are constantly updated by the City as further information becomes available. An inventory sheet with little information may simply indicate that there has been no building work done to the item recently: it does not mean that items are not significant. Further research is always recommended as part of preparation of development proposals for heritage items, and is necessary in preparation of Heritage Impact Assessments and Conservation Management Plans, so that the significance of heritage items can be fully assessed prior to submitting development applications.

History

Historical notes: The "Eora people" was the name given to the coastal Aborigines around Sydney. Central Sydney is therefore often referred to as "Eora Country". Within the City of Sydney local government area, the traditional owners are the Cadigal and Wangal bands of the Eora. There is no written record of the name of the language spoken and currently there are debates as whether the coastal peoples spoke a separate language "Eora" or whether this was actually a dialect of the Dharug language. Remnant bushland in places like Blackwattle Bay retain elements of traditional plant, bird and animal life, including fish and rock oysters.

With the invasion of the Sydney region, the Cadigal and Wangal people were decimated but there are descendants still living in Sydney today. All cities include many immigrants in their population. Aboriginal people from across the state have been attracted to suburbs such as Pyrmont, Balmain, Rozelle, Glebe and Redfern since the 1930s. Changes in government legislation in the 1960s provided freedom of movement enabling more Aboriginal people to choose to live in Sydney.

(Information sourced from Anita Heiss, "Aboriginal People and Place", Barani: Indigenous History of Sydney City http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/barani )

Donated to the City of Sydney by the Hon. John Frazer, MLC (1827-84), a merchant, company director and philanthropist. In 1881 Frazer agreed to finance the design and erection of two fountains to be located in Sydney. One of these fountains is located at the intersection of Art Gallery Road, Prince Albert and St. Mary’s Road. The other fountain is located opposite Sydney Grammar School, Hyde Park South.The fountain was designed by Thomas Sapsford, City Architect, and sculpted by Lawrence Beveridge. It was unveiled in 1884. The Frazer Memorial Fountain in Hyde Park is one of two erected in Sydney, the other being on Prince Albert Road (See Inventory sheet 2424003). Both were designed by Thomas Saapsford and sculpted by Lawrence Beveridge. The second was erected in 1884 at the outer perimeter of the Domain on St Mary's Road. Both were dontaed by wealthy Sydney businessman John Frazer, MLC. (see also record M013). The Hyde Park fountain was originally installed at the Oxford Street corner of Hyde Park in 1881. It was one of numerous public drinking fountains installed in public thoroughfares and parks during the early 1880s when the city's piped water supply was unreliable and largely restricted to the wealthy. For philanthropists, the masonry of the fountains also afforded a publicly visible space on which their name and good works could be recorded for posterity. The foutain featured Pyrmont sandstone, and a basin of gray granite from Scotland with dolphin taps and drinking cups of finely modelled engraved bronze. The fountain was moved twice in the first half of the twentieth century. The first, in 1917 was to make way for the Emden Gun. It moved near the Pool of Reflection. The second move in 1934 was caused by remodelling of Hyde Park South. It was transferred to its present position. Later in 1934 the taps and drinking cups were changed with a bubble fountain in keeping with changing attitudes towards health and hygiene.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Utilities-Activities associated with the provision of services, especially on a communal basis (none)-
7. Governing-Governing Welfare-Activities and process associated with the provision of social services by the state or philanthropic organisations (none)-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
A manifestation of nineteenth century philanthropy, this edifice is one of the few intact remaining drinking fountains in Sydney. Demonstrates earlier aspects of daily life in relation to water supply and usage as well as public health and hygiene.Long association with parks gardens and pleasure grounds.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
Association with the Hon. John Frazer, MLC (1827-84), a merchant, company director and philanthropist.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Good example of baroque-inspired Victorian Gothic sandstone fountain.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
During the late nineteenth century the fountain was a source of drinknig water as well as a meeting place; it is a symbol of this aspect of everyday life prior to the universal provision of reticulated water.
Assessment criteria: Items are assessed against the PDF State Heritage Register (SHR) Criteria to determine the level of significance. Refer to the Listings below for the level of statutory protection.

Recommended management:

The building should be retained and conserved. A Heritage Assessment and Heritage Impact Statement, or a Conservation Management Plan, should be prepared for the building prior to any major works being undertaken. There shall be no vertical additions to the building and no alterations to the façade of the building other than to reinstate original features. The principal room layout and planning configuration as well as significant internal original features including ceilings, cornices, joinery, flooring and fireplaces should be retained and conserved. Any additions and alterations should be confined to the rear in areas of less significance, should not be visibly prominent and shall be in accordance with the relevant planning controls.

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanSydney LEP 2012I194714 Dec 12   
Heritage study     

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Written  Australian Dictionary of Biography, Vol.4. pp.218-219.
WrittenAnita Heiss Aboriginal People and Place, Barani: Indigenous History of Sydney City
WrittenMaxwell, C, Australian Men of Mark, vol. 1, series 11, Melbourne, (n.d.) pp.72-75.

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

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Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Local Government
Database number: 2426003


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